The Morgan 4/4 is one of my favorite vintage performance cars. Of course the Morgan Motor Company in the UK are still producing cars today though their luxury models, and the 4/4 is still coming off the production lines, are a little harder on the wallet than they were back in the day!
The Morgan Motor company were founded in Worcestershire, UK in 1910 by Henry Morgan who ran the business right up to his death in 1959. Originally Morgan produced single seat three wheel vehicles and it wasn’t until 1936 that they first produced the famous 4/4 (series 1).
Here we will look at the Morgan 4/4 (series 4) as it was in 1963. Interestingly, even as long ago as the early sixties, the Morgan 4/4 was described as ‘the last of the genuine sports cars.’ The 4/4 made its name as a real drivers car with no pretense at being anything other than a car to be driven fast.
It shunned any attempt to make driving a comfortable experience with the car famously giving a ‘had ride.’ It also gave a fairly wet ride if the weather was bad as the cover, when raised, was prone to leaks. But, if you wanted a car that gave you excellent road holding, good performance and a tingle when you drove it, the Morgan 4/4 was the car for you.
Rather like a Harley Davidson motorcycle the 4/4 was at its best when hitting the road on a long journey, effortlessly eating up the miles and purring along at a steady cruising speed of 70mph. This car could run for ever and the Morgan was a familiar site on Europe’s roads as British drivers thought nothing of packing a bag and heading over to the continent in their 4/4.
Let’s Get Technical
The Morgan packed a Ford four cylinder 1340cc engine with a four speed transmission. With a top speed of 92mph it wasn’t in the elite league of vintage performance cars but for touring it had no equal and was light and easy to handle.
As with all Morgan’s of the period the disc brakes on the 4/4 were excellent though they were prone to pulling as oil from the cars lubrication system often found its way onto the pads. But, apart from that, the 4/4 was reliable and, taking just 10 seconds to power from 0-60mph, could offer good performance despite the lack of a high top end speed.
Vintage Performance Cars Specifications
Costs – series iv, two seater tourer £725 ($1169)
Engine – Ford four cylinder 80.96×65.07mm pushing 1340cc. Overhead valves, compression ratio 8.5 to 1, 62 bhp at 5000 rpm. Single SU carburettor, coil and distributor ignition.
Transmission – Single dry plate clutch, four speed gearbox.
Chassis – Steel body and chassis. Independent front suspension, vertical coil spring. Disc brakes on front, drums in rear.
Equipment – 12 volt lighting and starting. Speedometer, fuel, oil pressure and ammeter gauges. Flashing indicators. Extras; pass light, screen washer, hood (cover) lights, wheel trims, map reading light, hand throttle.
Dimensions – wheelbase 8’. Length 12’1”. Width 4’8”. Weight 12.75cwt.
Performance – maximum speed 92mph. Speeds in gears 3rd 62mph, 2nd 40mph, 1st 20mph. Standing quarter mile 18.1 seconds. Acceleration 0-30mph 3.25 seconds, 0-50mph 7.25 seconds, 0-6omph 10.5 seconds, 0-80mph 19 seconds.
Fuel consumption – 27-30mpg.
As mentioned at the top of the page; the Morgan 4/4 was a genuine sports car and it is a treat to see these vehicles turn up at vintage car shows where they inevitably attract an awful lot of attention.